by Jacqueline Woodson

Paperback, 2010





Nancy Paulsen Books (2010), 224 pages


Twelve-year-old Toswiah finds her life changed when her family enters the witness protection program.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

224 p.; 8.25 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member Esus15
the book is about a young girl growing up with great friends, grat family and in a neighborhood that she loves until her family is forced into the federal witness protection program. her father testified against two cops who wrongfully shot a young black man. she is forced to move away from her
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friends, grandmother and placec she grew up. shes having trouble not feeling alone and trying to find herself as well as watching her immediate family change right before her eyes. i cannot imagine having to do that, i'm not sure i could just leave everyone behind like that. at her age its really hard to cope with something like that when your trying to find your place in the world. this was my frist pick for the group books and i'm glad that i had the time to sit down and read it.
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LibraryThing member TeriHogg
Imagine that you are a 12-year old girl and you discover one day that you have to change your name. Toswiah Green loves her life in Denver. Everything changes the day her dad, a black police officer, witnesses two white police officers shoot a young black male and agrees to testify against them.
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After death threats and gunshot through their window, the family enters the witness protection program. Toswiah is now Evie. When you have to lie about who you are, who your family is, and forget where you came from, how do you start over? There are no easy answers and Toswiah/Evie walks the reader in narrated flashbacks through her experience and slowly allows us to wonder. The other question it leaves is would you do the right thing knowing that others will also pay the price? The family storyline ends in a place that fills unfinished and wished the author had resolved it better. The audio voice actor reads in a lyrical way that draws the listener in. Highly recommended. While this book is geared toward ages 9-12, the textual phrasing is better suited for ages 12-14.
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LibraryThing member corinne331
Twelve-year-old Toswiah finds her life changed when her family enters the witness protection program.
LibraryThing member jmchshannon
Many bloggers have been touting Ms. Woodson and her writing for months now, so I knew I had to pick up at least one of her works. I am proud to say that my fellow bloggers are not wrong. Hush was every bit as phenomenal as they said it would be.

It goes without saying that being a pre-teen and
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having to start a new life completely and utterly is both painful and torturous. This is the obvious point of the novel. What Ms. Woodson does is to go beyond the obvious. What gives us our identity? Is it our name? Our family? Our birthplace? The color of our skin? Is it one thing or many? More importantly, should it be one thing or many?

Hush identifies the poignant and painful journey Evie takes to discover just who she is at a time in her life when she was already struggling to do so. It is dramatic in its simplicity while confusion, loneliness and questioning ooze from every word. Added to that, Ms. Woodson adds the undercurrent of tension in regards to the decisions made by Evie's father, further complicating her desire to discover who she is.

Hush is a quick read, clocking in at 180 pages, but it is one that stays with you for a long time as you ponder what identity truly means. I highly recommend this simple but thought-provoking novel.
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LibraryThing member alexandraharris
This was a great book. The characters totally come to life in a way that many can feel connected to. It reminds us of how lucky we are to have the lives that we choose and create. It makes the reader think about what it would be like to have to pick up and leave everything they knew. I think that
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this would be a great book for older students. It teaches them to be thankful and see life from a new perspective.
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LibraryThing member jenhope
This was an amazing book. I loved reading it, it was so interesting to read about how a family would have to go though something so horrible and have to run away from everything they have even known. It was a big eye opener to see how lucky you are that you still have friends and family you can
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talk to all the time without any restrictions. I think this would be a great book for middle school or high school. It would be great to go though the process of what they had to do and talk about how she was learning to live a new life.
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LibraryThing member NataliaLucia
Personal Response: This book is amazing! I was brought to tears several times by Toswiah's/Evie's story. I really belive that a lot of adolescents can identify with this character.
Curricular Connection: 6th graders could read this book over the course of two weeks and keep a journal of their
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readings. Students could write 500 word essays on the role of identity in the story.
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LibraryThing member ptnguyen
Ages 10 and up.

Before the nightmare, 12-year-old Toswiah Green has an ideal life: her father is a police officer, her mother is a teacher, her older sister is a cheerleader, and Toswiah has a best friend and loves Colorado. Then her father witnesses a murder where two white police officers shoot an
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unarmed black teenager. Her father testifies against these two officers and sends the family into the Witness Protection program. The entire family changes their identity for their protection and leaves their home in the middle of the night. Except for Toswiah, who feels that her father does the right thing and is very proud of him, her mother and sister do not deal with the predicament very well. Her mother finds religion and becomes a Jehovah Witness and her sister arranges to go to college at the age 15 to get away from her family. Toswiah's father blames himself and sits all day by the window.

Toswiah demonstrates extreme inner strength as her family reels out of control. She despises telling lies instead of history of her family. She grows up psychologically and mentally but feels conflicted of what her family and herself is going through. She realizes that "I am no longer who I was in Denver, but at least and at most I am." Readers facing their own identity crises will find familiar conflicts and connects with Toswiah. In addition, Woodson weaves a very realistic and believable situation for the Green's and their struggle to overcome the struggle. I enjoyed Toswiah and her narration and the flashbacks to the times before the nightmare takes place. At the beginning the parents seem to be strong and supportive parents to their two daughters. However, when the family enters the Witness Protection program, the parents do not prove themselves to be such ideal parents after all.
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LibraryThing member KarriesKorner
It's hard enough being an adolescent young girl trying to find yourself, but imagine that you had to forget who you used to be in order to remember who you are now. Evie has a rough road to navigate and figure out when her family goes into the witness protection program after her dad witnesses a
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LibraryThing member Schuman
This is the story of a 12-year old girl, Toswiah, living in Denver and loving life until one day when everything changes. Her dad, a black police officer, witnesses two white police officers shoot a young black boy and agrees to testify against them. The family enters the witness protection program
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and Toswiah must leave everybody and everything she know, including her name, which is now Evie. "Evie" hates California and hates her new school as she doesn't seem to fit in until finally she finds something that she likes and is good at, track.
This was well written and deals with growing up and trying to fit in, in a new town and a new school. I think kids can relate to Toswiah and her struggles and finally her success.
I think this book is great for middle-school girls. I think that it shows that we all have insecurities and that we really aren't alone.
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LibraryThing member msampsel
This is a great realistic fiction book about how important identity is. It tells the story of a young girl and her family who have to give up everything and go into witness protection. It tells of the struggles they all face to come to terms with what happened as well as coming to terms with
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LibraryThing member Whisper1
Everything this author writes is wonderful! She is a Newbery honor and medal winner, a winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, and Hush is a National Book Award finalist.

When Toswiah Green's father does the right thing, the family is suddenly, dramatically turned upside down.

As the only black
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policeman on the force, her father felt accepted and affirmed by his fellow officers. When he received an award for outstanding bravery, his co-workers applauded and stood by his side.

When he witnessed two of his team mates kill a young black man, he took the high road and morally, ethically made the decision to testify against them.

His co-workers abandoned him and he and his family were exposed to death threats and torment.

The Green family became part of the witness protection program and left all traces of their previous life behind.

Told from the point of view of Toswiah, we watch as her father descends into deep depression and her mother embraces fundamental religion.

Life in a new school is difficult and the longing for what was left behind is sad and powerful.

This is a strong story of identify and of the consequences of doing the right thing.

Highly recommended!

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LibraryThing member Salsabrarian
When Toswiah’s father chooses to testify against his fellow officers who shot and killed a black boy, the Green family receives death threats. The family is forced to go into the federal witness protection program, forgoing their history and changing their names. The family struggles to cope with
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their new life; Toswiah’s mother joins the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Toswiah’s father sinks into depression. Toswiah, now Evie, finds refuge in running track at school and comes to realize that although her identity has changed, her sense of self has not.
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LibraryThing member PamPopp
Evie Thomas is not who she used to be. Once she had a best friend, a happy home and a loving grandmother living nearby. Once her name was Toswiah. Now, everything is different. Her family has been forced to move to a new place and change their identities. But that's not all that has changed. Her
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once lively father has become depressed and quiet. Her mother leaves teaching behind and clings to a new-found religion. Her only sister is making secret plans to leave. And Evie, struggling to find her way in a new city where kids aren't friendly and the terrain is as unfamiliar as her name, wonders who she is.
Jacqueline Woodson weaves a fascinating portrait of a thoughtful young girl's coming of age in a world turned upside down
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LibraryThing member SeriousGrace
Hush began with a question in Jacqueline Woodson's head. After hearing about a story about someone entering the witness protection program she asked herself what if that happened to me? She began to imagine how someone's entire world would be turned upside down. And what if what that someone was a
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pubescent child with a best friend, a family and school? Someone just barely starting to find her own identity? Meet Evie Thomas. She was born to a policeman father and a school teacher mother and with her sister started her young life in Denver, Colorado. Her name used to be Toswia Green. She had a best friend. She had a nice house to live in. She used to have security in every sense of the word. Now all of that is gone. She has to start all over with friends, with school, with a new (and tiny) apartment, with her family and herself. Evie has no idea who she is anymore.
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LibraryThing member klamproe
This is the story of Toswiah Green and how her family was put in the witness protection program. Her father saw the shooting of a young boy be fellow officers and decided to testify against them even though he knew it would hurt him. We follow the story of how the family copes with being in the
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witness protection program and how it effects each person differently. As times moves on Toswiah slowly begins to learn who she is now and what she loves, she learns to live her new life rather than focusing on her old one.
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LibraryThing member DonnaMarieMerritt
Published in 2002, but perhaps even more relevant today. A black cop witnesses two white cops (two people he considered his friends, his brothers) murder an unarmed black boy for no reason. After getting death threats against his family, he makes the agonizing decision to do what's right and
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testify against them, which forces him, his wife, and two teenage daughters into the Witness Protection Program. What happens when everything you know is taken away from you because you spoke up? Each family member reacts differently and it's a good glimpse into how complicated these cases are and how racism continues to invade our world. There were some parts that seemed stretched to me, but it's well-written, as is everything Jacqueline Woodson pens.
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LibraryThing member sarahlh
A beautiful, poignant YA novel; Woodson doing what she does best, which is examining a life post-trauma and showing readers that rebuilding is never easy but always possible and so very worthwhile. Deals with a number of issues - religion, police violence, racism, adolescence - with thoughtfulness
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and quiet courtesy. Another reason why Jacqueline Woodson is one of my personal favorite authors.
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½ (86 ratings; 3.7)
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